An easier way to keep up with your paratransit rides and let agencies, support workers, or personal contacts know about things that happen when you are out and about.
Paratransit Pal (TM) is a web application that improves the paratransit commuting experience. It was created in 2017 during the AT&T Civic Coding Challenge, where it won first place and $40,000. The entire prize was donated to charitable causes, mostly to two organizations helping those with disabilities in the Atlanta area: People Making Progress and disABILITY LINK. Read about our story here on Medium.
What is Paratransit Pal?
Paratransit Pal is a web application that focuses on a a clear, understandable experience for seeing when your next paratransit pickup will happen. It includes several other features, but that's the main experience.
Who is Paratransit Pal for?
Anybody who wishes this stuff were simpler. We started thinking specifically of paratransit users with cognitive disabilities who do not read well but are otherwise well able to understand ideas about whether their bus is early, late, on time, etc.
What is the status of the project?
In development. We have competed at some hackathons and other events and been awarded 1st Prize at Atlanta's Civic Coding Challenge.
Team Title: Team Lead & Full-stack Developer
Mark Noonan's experiences working with adults with developmental disabilities lead him to start the Mobility ETA project which eventually became Paratransit Pal. He lead the team through multiple hackathons and contributed to the front- and back-end development.
In his day job, Mark is a Program Developer at People Making Progress, and office manger for an independent folk music label. He enjoys web development work and in 2018 joined the leadership team at Code For Atlanta to spend more time in the Civic Hacking community. Lastly: if you're not constantly vigilant about this kind of thing, he will at some point play the banjo at you.
Team Title: Project & Product Manager
Brittani Smalls researched the HIPAA compliance and regulations for PII in paratransit commuting. She guided the team by providing legal & business counsel.
In her day job, Brittani is the Accounting and Compliance Manager for Women Who Code, Inc. An advocate for cyber security and fraud prevention, she has 13 years of Accounting/Internal Audit/IT Controls/Data Analytics experience. She has uncovered over $1.5B in fraud/misallocation throughout her career. She is a speaker and often delivers talks about data privacy in your professional and personal life. In her free time, she is planning for the Robot Revolution, or spending time in SC with her parents and helping them with their garden and chickens.
Team Title: Front-end Developer
Nerando Johnson has been with Mark from the beginning, pushing the project into reality. He developed the front- and back-end of all versions of the web app.
In his day job, Nerando is a freelance Fullstack Developer and a facilitator/mentor at FreeCodeCamp Atlanta - supporting other current & aspiring developers. He is an advocate for technology as a problem-solving tool. He was formerly a middle school Science and Literacy teacher. Over the years, he has been a farmer, an entrepreneur, and a freelance web developer.
Ann D Vu
Team Title: Product Manager
Ann D. Vu researched & created the proof of concept for tech-powered ETA in paratransit commuting. She also contributed UI design to optimize useability.
In her day job, Ann is a Product Analyst at ChartRequest, a SaaS health information exchange. She is also a Manager of Operations & Development for Anidata, a data science, non-profit group. In her free time, Ann is devising plans to survive a dual AI/zombie apocalypse and forming her community of human survivors for the next living organism evolution.
Team Title: API & Front-end Developer
Jared Saussy developed the front-end and APIs to connect the web app to a local mass transit company's paratransit management platform.
Team Title: ML & Back-end Developer
Erick Garcia developed the machine learning algorithms to power the web app into greater accuracy for ETA feedback.
In his day job, Erick is a Lead Android Developer managing several project teams. He has previously developed multiple Android app startups and holds a number of patents.
Mobility ETA is a free tool we have created at Paratransit Pal that does one thing well: it checks the time of a single upcoming MARTA Mobility Trip (whatever your next ride), and shows you the expected arrival time of your pickup, and some other details. We try to do this as clearly and simply as possible, using color and other visual cues to help make it obvious whether your bus is on time or running late.
Users can log in with their existing MARTA Mobility Client ID and password, and get just the information they need at that time, without any possibility of accidentally cancelling, booking trips, or looking at the wrong trip.
This is the core functionality we imagined at our early hackathons and other events, and we want it to be available to MARTA customers while we continue to work on the main Paratransit Pal project.
You can try out a live demo at the website: Mobility ETA